No alarm clocks, no daily commutes, no meetings, no hurried pace of daily life, no agenda – just do what you like at your own pace! Camping under the canopy of stars, away from the hustle and bustle of city life allows you to disconnect from the grind and connect with your loved ones as well as nature.
Owning an RV can be expensive especially for the first-timers. Therefore, pop-up campers allow adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers to enjoy the outdoors inexpensively. So, if you adore tent camping then camping in a pop-up camper can be the best option, as they can give you a few extra amenities.
What are the pop-up campers?
A pop-up camper is a collapsible recreational vehicle that can be folded for easy storage and transport. When they are set up, they provide a big amount of interior space as compared to their size when collapsed.
A pop-up camper is an ideal choice for those who are yet not ready for the RVing lifestyle but, still want a taste of it. A pop-up camper allows you to get the feel of an RV without the cost. The pop-ups are lightweight and can be towed away by almost any vehicle.
They come in varying sizes with myriads of options like air conditioning, washrooms, refrigerator, kitchen, and sitting areas. Pop-up campers are smaller than travel trailers but bigger than a tent.
Types of pop-up campers
Fold-out campers or Tent-trailers
A standard tent trailer would pop up on the sides creating an extended space for sleeping. This type of camper has a tent-style roof and is great for 2 to 3 people.
High-wall campers are akin to tent-trailers. However, they have higher sidewalls and a hardtop. They are roomy and create additional sleeping and storage space but are heavier to tow. High-wall campers are the best option for families.
The name A-frame comes from the “A” shape created by the panels coming together. It is a solid-wall folding camper. They are smaller in size and therefore, can be towed with a smaller car also. You don’t have to own or rent a large truck, which can save you money. A-frames are sturdy and easy to set up. But there is limited living space. A-frame campers are hard on all sides, and allow you to camper throughout the year despite the weather conditions.
They are the smallest of the four and are easier to tow. Teardrop campers which were once considered primitive have gained popularity again. The front part of the teardrop camper is used for sleeping, whereas the back half is made as a galley and storage area. They can be fitted with air conditioning and refrigerator.
Due to their small size, they can be fitted into any type of garage. Teardrop campers don’t cost much. Your vehicle does not have to burn much gas to haul it. Because of their small size, they are also not difficult to control and maneuver on the road.
Most of the teardrop campers are around 5 to 7 feet in breadth and not more than 12 feet in length. So, if you want low-cost travel, then look no further! The teardrop may be perfect for you. Most of the teardrops are custom built with wooden exteriors, retro paint designs making them the most attractive and appealing campers in the market.
Pop-up campers are the most affordable of all the recreational vehicles. New models are available at affordable prices. However, used ones in good condition can also be a great option. The low cost of the pop-up camper does not mean that you have to go without amenities. Many pop-ups have at the minimum a nice kitchen area, two queen beds, and a dinette. The scope of the amenities depends upon the size of the camper.
2. Small and Portable
Most of the pop-ups are small and portable and can be easily folded and towed to the next location. They are lightweight and can be towed by a smaller vehicle also. They can also fit in small campsites, allowing you more opportunities for adventuring to new locations. Maneuvering the camper on the road is also relatively easy because the camper folds down and doesn’t block your rear vision when driving.
3. Full protection from the elements
Pop-up campers give you the feeling of tent camping while being fully protected from the elements. The hard roof and waterproof sides give protection from the rain. The sides can also be unzipped to let in the fresh air.
- Big pop-ups can be heavy and expensive
Bigger pop-ups can be heavy and expensive. This makes it difficult to tow them using a smaller vehicle. So, you will need a pickup truck or an SUV. Some other worries could be jackknifing and trailer swing. Lighter pop-ups can easily get damaged in strong winds. They have less weight to stabilize them.
2. Setting up and disassembly is time-consuming
Pop-up campers take up a lot of time to set up and disassemble. If you don’t want the pop-up to rock around, you have to set up the stabilizers, You have to pull out the bed, support them, set up the kitchen, etc.
3. The tent requires special care
The awnings need special care especially if they get wet. They have to be dried and aired completely before retracting. Otherwise, it can cause mold and mildew issues. You also have to keep your eyes peeled for rips and tears. If left unsupervised they can become bigger and expensive issues.
4. No bathroom
Most of the pop-up campers do not have bathrooms. And the ones which have bathrooms are often just a toilet behind a curtain. For all those whom the bathroom is a big consideration, pop-ups may not be the best choice.
5. No privacy
As compared to the conventional travel trailers, pop-ups do not have hard walls inside and so do not offer much privacy.
6. No insulation
Pop-up campers are notorious for getting hotter in summer days and chilly in the winter months. They have canvas walls that do not offer any type of insulation. This makes temperature regulation almost impossible in extreme weather.
How do pop-up campers work?
Camping in a pop-up camper is like having the best of both worlds. A pop-up camper has canvas walls that will make you feel amidst nature and yet have all the amenities of the home. For first time campers, it can be a little tricky to set up the pop-up camper.
Setting up your camper will depend upon the kind of pop-up camper you own. Most pop-up campers use the lifting mechanism to unfold the camper, whereas others require more manual work. The lifting mechanism works with a series of pulleys and winches.
The main idea behind this special mechanism is that you should be able to unfold and lift your camper with very little resistance on your part. There are just a few things you have to do when setting up your pop-up camper.
Setting It Up
When you are setting up your camper you need to make sure that the terrain is ready to support your camper. Ensure that the camper is level to the ground and then remove the camper from your vehicle’s hitch. Now attach a stabilizer to the back of your trailer. Use the cranking mechanism to align your camper with the ground.
Once your pop-up camper is leveled and stabilized, start placing the jacks under the support points of your camper. The jacks are placed under your camper and will fully lock into position. When the jacks are locked start opening up your camper.After the top of your camper is fully opened and locked in place, you can start setting up the interiors including the door and beds.
Set the beds in place and make sure they don’t move. Make sure the door opens and closes easily. If it does not there must be some leveling issue. Therefore, leveling your camper is very important before setting it in place.
Once everything is secure and set, you can start setting up the other things such as the canopy, unfolding tables, putting your personal belongings around the camper. Now the last thing to do is to hook up your water and electricity. If you choose to park and relax at a campsite, you will have these special hooks available to you which require you to plug the camper in. You can hook up water by locating your camper’s hose.
Pop-up campers have a lot of positives and negatives. You can weigh the benefits and the drawbacks and decide if they are the right fit for your family. There are a plethora of options available. Explore all of them before taking the final decision.
Pop-up campers are a cheap way for families to get out, camp, and enjoy nature and bring some adventure into their lives. So, you don’t have to put aside your adventurous spirit because of a tight budget. Find the one that might fit into your budget while offering all the comforts you require.
Home is where you park your pop-up camper!